Another mysterious fruit in Thaland, Chiang Rai. Can anyone tell me what it is?
i r i s posted at 6/30/2005 | Sunset in Angkor Wat.
i r i s posted at 6/30/2005 |
The memory of Mui ne beach, Vietnam.
i r i s posted at 6/28/2005 | Ryan says: "I want the full credit for this picture!"
i r i s posted at 6/28/2005 | The Shiny Summer Palace in Mae Salong, Northern Thailand.
i r i s posted at 6/28/2005 | I bought a purple bracelet from this cute girl in a Yao village, Thailand.
i r i s posted at 6/28/2005 |
In order to save 100 us dollars, Ryan and I spent about 12 hours flying back to Taiwan(Taipei) from Hanoi, Vietnam. I really can't tell if it was really worth it after all the waiting and hanging out in the airports, and, of course the best part...4 meals on the plane! Yeah...Oh well, at least we traveled four countries just yesterday alone, Vietnam --> Thailand (Bangkok) --> China,(Hong Kong)--> Taiwan, (Taipei).
Feeling pretty strange to be home again after the long traveling. I shocked myself by not being able to think "maturely" the Chinese way of speaking...One old guy who tried to introduce us a hotel room in the airport spoke English to me the whole way, and I only thought about how odd it was after he stopped that I didn't even think of any Chinese words. Chinese signs are everywhere...The streets are in orders, and so as motorcycles and cars which speed quietly. No more hard selling, no more " hey! You! Motorbike??" or "where you go now??" are heard at street corners...
I'm home again! Part of me is happy that this journey has finally ended, and I can meet my family and friends again, and I don't have to deal with the heat in south east Asia once more; yet part of me is in fact experiencing a sort of culture shock now. Well, this time, it's my own culture!
I'm not sure how well, or how bad I will deal with this shock now, maybe tomorrow I'll be fine, perhaps it will take weeks before I feel home again...But I am certain that this time, after walking all over most of the towns in SEA, after all the cultures and different people I've seen...Taiwan, my own home, will have a new definition to me.
i r i s posted at 6/16/2005 |
In about 84 hours we are going to end our big journey, in which Ryan and I crossed most major cities and towns in 5 countries, Maynmar (burma), Thailand (tai-laang), Laos (loaw), Cambodia (kambodge), and Vietnam (via-naam), mainly on roads.
My memories of being so scared of people's stares, and the stall smells in downtown Yangon (Rangoon) were so strange and bizzare to me at that time, are still fresh. The culture shock I had in almost every corner of Burma and Cambodia feel like only a week ago. Even now in a comfy coffee shop, 3 days from the end of this trip, I can still smell the nasty smell of the fishing village in Mui Ne, Vietnam and their famous product: fish sauce. I don't remember how many times Ryan and I decided to leave a town and lifted our heavy backpacks on our backs again... how could I? But I still remember the first rainfall with loud thunder as we arrived in Chiang Rai (northen Thailand), and the fresh night air that acompannied the funny frog sounds (or...a mysterious creature) after that heavy rain... and the day after that day... and the day after... day after...
So many times I woke up in the middle of night, sweaty and startled to find that I was in a strange bed in a dark room somewhere in SEA. I couldn't recall and I was frightened. And still, there were more times, even while awake, walking down the streets, I found myself wondering what the hell was I doing in all these weird places, and the next second, an ear-piercing honk from a motorcycle would shock me into forgetting what it was I was thinking or doing one second ago.
I just can't believe that nearly five-months of traveling is over. So much has happened and so much I have seen, so terrified and yet so excited and happy from time to time during all those days. This journey has finally come to the end, even though all the feelings I have for the people I met and the places I've been seem like yesterday...
In 3 day, we are going to be home again. I'd rather not think about anything, ANYTHING yet and just sit back, relax and enjoy the last dyas of sunbathing in our first and last luxurious hotel, in Hanoi!
i r i s posted at 6/12/2005 |
Today, a lazy lazy day. Ryan and i walked out of our hotel around the noon time, after we arrived at the market and bought the famous conical hat, we crashed again. The heat and humid air in Hue is just a little unbearable...Anyways, i feel much better right now since some 2000 liter of water and some strong Vietnamese tea were flashed town my stomach.
We hung around this town since three days ago like what we usually do in every new town we've been traveled. Hue, a bit like Hui An (or last stop), both are the UNESCO city of world heritage, only Hue is a lot bigger, more spectacular whereas Hui An is cuter and more colorful.
After visiting both very very Chinese towns in Vietnam, i had this deep retrospection on Chinese culture, which is my own culture....Yesterday, sitting in the back of Ryan's scooter ride while we were shown and led by a wonderful local lady, Roi, to the great emperor's tomb; I had this embarrassing moment that I realized how much shamed I was to forget and take granted my own culture. On that little dirt road in that countryside where Roi lives, there were pieces of Chinese characters here and there inscribed on the walls, windows, doors where the people who's ancestors came from China and brought and passed town the culture here in Vietnam. Most of the Vietnamese people don't recognize those characters anymore, but they can surely tell you their meaning even though they don't speak a word of Chinese anymore... Roi showed us the big inscription in the King's tomb and asked me what it meant, and saying that those poetry written on the doorway look so beautiful to her and most of people here, yet no one seem to understand them... so explained the words carefully for her but felt so full of sweat!
I remembered one day when we visited a pagoda here, an happy old monk asked where I am from and when he learned that I'm from Taiwan and speak Chinese, he was excited and eager to showed me that he could write Chinese characters and that he knows every single words written in his Buddhist inscription and prayers. When he wrote me an old Chinese poem which a tiny rock on the ground, I was so amazed and felt so flat and small at the same time...
Now, as time brings us closer to the end of our journey in SEA, the more I have feel small and learn to respect and at same time reappreciate my own culture. I'm surprised that it takes so long and so far away from my culture and couture to realize this old yet wise saying in Chinese, "Until you see the mountain, the plains don't look flat"...
Not to mention the exact Chinese idiom is tattooed on Ryan's right arm.